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European Union democracy promotion in Central Asia: Implementation in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Sharshenova, Aizhan (2015) European Union democracy promotion in Central Asia: Implementation in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The EU has made the area of democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance a top cooperation priority under the framework of the EU Strategy towards Central Asia. The inclusion of strong normative elements into the Strategy was both due to the EU’s commitment to democratic principles and the lack of democratisation progress in Central Asia. This thesis examines two interrelated question: To what extent has EU democracy promotion in Central Asia been successful, and why? Focusing on the implementation of EU democracy promotion instruments the thesis has made three original contributions. First, it adds to the existing research on democracy promotion mechanisms and provides a comprehensive analytical framework for evaluation of democracy promotion, inclusive of factors which may facilitate or impede democracy promotion in Central Asia. Second, this thesis demonstrates the validity of a holistic approach to analysing factors impeding democracy promotion. It acknowledges that a variety of diverse factors affect external democracy promotion and their impact can vary as international, regional and domestic conditions change. Third, two original case studies were presented and analysed with taking into consideration relevant contextual conditions, which might affect the design, implementation and outcomes of EU democracy promotion. Case study approach offers a highly contextual solution to examining external democracy promotion. It allows for a depth of analysis and adds to the existing body of literature, which usually either focuses on individual democracy promotion projects or provides a shallow overview of EU activities in Central Asia. The thesis focused on the stable and rich authoritarian Kazakhstan and poorer Kyrgyzstan prone to political instability but also to democratic openings. The case studies represented the country with more strategic importance for the EU (Kazakhstan) and the country with less strategic importance for the EU (Kyrgyzstan) in order to see how non normative interests interfere with normative interests.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: EU, Central Asia, democracy promotion, development assistance
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.686455
Depositing User: Aizhan Sharshenova
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 12:12
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13122

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